In order to get the best out of your exercise and fitness regimen, there is no substitute for proper nutrition. The best pre-workout foods are those that will prime your body for fat burn and muscle gain. That includes what you eat before and after workout. In this article, we will be discussing the best pre-workout nutrition (meals, snacks and protein drinks). Proper nutrition is not only important to fuel your body and provide the necessary energy, but also to promote fat burn and muscle growth. Good quality protein and complex carbohydrate are two highly essential nutrients to get the best out of your workout.
What is the best rario of protein to carbs for workout?
About 60-70% of the energy in your pre-workout meal should ideally come from carbohydrate sources with low-glycemic index.
How much carbs and protein should you have in your pre-workout meal? Well, one gram of protein for every two to four grams of carbohydrate is a good place to start. As you can see, the ratio varies among individuals, and types of exercise. As well, you should try slightly different ratios to find out the ratio that gives you the optimum workout. In other words, there is no single formula that is best for everybody. The type and quantity you eat also would depend on how long you intend to workout, the intensity of your exercise, and your overall your fitness goals. You should also eat at least 60 to 180 minutes before your workout; again, this will depend on the type and amount of food consumed. The greater the amount of food consumed, the longer you might have to wait before starting your workout. That is, you want to avoid heavy meal before high intensity workout. A stomach full of food may hamper rather than enhance your workout.
How much food should you eat?
Some athletes believe in performing intense cardio or aerobic exercise on empty stomach for greater fat burn. However, for optimum performance and endurance, the body needs a steady supply of fuel. Also, endurance or strenuous training after overnight fasting can sometimes create lightheadedness or low blood sugar. So you want the kind and amount of meal that will contain readily available nutrients to steadily fuel your body throughout your workout.
Which type of protein and carbs should you eat?
Your protein should come from poultry, fish, egg whites, and beef, while your cabs could be from whole grains, brown rice, steel cut oats, whole wheat pasta. In addition to high fiber content, these are low glycemic carbs which ensures steady supply of glycogen required for your exercise. If you like a add some fat to your pre-workout meal, one or two tea-spoons of olive, coconut, or flaxseed oil can add taste and provide the necessary essential fatty acids for the body. A small amount of beans, lentils, or other legumes are great sources of quality plant protein, complex carbs, and fiber that can fuel the body for before you hit the gym.
However, if you are planning on a light workout, perhaps a protein drink, protein bar, a glass of milk, or a piece of fruit such as banana about 20-30 minutes before your workout may be sufficient.
How do you prepare for your workout, and what kind of foods do you eat? Have you tried any pre-workout supplements? Please let us know in the comment section below.